2023 NACDEP Fall Newsletter


NACDEP Newsletter                                                                                    Fall Edition

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NACDEP 2023 Fall Newsletter

From The Editor

NACDEP Colleagues: Greetings and welcome to the autumn newsletter 2023.  There are so many interesting things going on right now.  The members of our organization always seem to be engaged in interesting and important activities, whether they are associated with environment, economic growth and development, leadership, scholarship – that’s one of the reasons why I am so proud to be a part of this group. 

In addition, this issue of the newsletter contains a poll (or survey if you prefer), that we would like you to complete.  Your opinion is very important, and so I am hopeful that everyone participates.  It is a very brief poll, so we hope to hear from you.

As a reminder, this is the last newsletter of 2023.  What an eventful year.  The next issue will be January 2024, and recall that because of the holidays we do not start soliciting submissions until after January has started.  So that newsletter comes out later in the month than most newsletter editions do.  I know that some of you plan your submissions well in advance and so that is why I am issuing this heads-up.

Always remember if you have questions about the newsletter, you can call me at 330-466-7877 or email me at [email protected]  Thanks for all you do to make the newsletter a success!


Thomas W. Blaine, PhD
Associate Professor
Ohio State University Extension
NACDEP Newsletter Editor



2024 NACDEP Conference



Seeking New NACDEP Officers

Submitted by Rebekka Dudensing

Participatory democracy is part of how NACDEP defines community development. We want to model that value through a vibrant organizational culture.

Nominations, including self-nominations, are open for four positions to be elected this fall:

  • President-elect: three-year rotation, including also president and past president
  • Secretary: two-year term
  • Southern Rep: two-year term
  • Northeast Rep: two-year term

Learn more about officer responsibilities at https://www.nacdep.net/other-resources or by reaching out to Rebekka Dudensing at [email protected] or other members of the current officer team.


Passionate About Professional Development?

Help plan a networking and development web event for NACDEP colleagues!

We are launching an ad hoc, 3-month committee to host NACDEP New Year. NNY is our opportunity to reconnect and re-energize as we start a new calendar year.

Contact Rebekka Dudensing at [email protected].



2024 JCEP Conferences: Proposal Submissions Due Oct. 13

Submitted by Rebekka Dudensing
Texas A&M and Past President, NACDEP

JCEP's Extension Leadership Conference (ELC) Feb. 14-15 and Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Apr. 15-17 are accepting proposal submissions for presentation. The deadline for submission is Oct. 13.

Please submit your work for presentation at the 2024 ELC and PILD conferences. Focusing on year-round leadership and being an Extension advocate, plan to share your programs, skill development, successes and impacts to build capacity of our Extension colleagues across all associations, program areas and disciplines. Details are on the JCEP website: https://www.jcep.org/

ELC is at Saddlebrook Resort north of Tampa, Florida. In this lovely 450-acre resort, consider making a vacation of your trip. Lots of outdoors to enjoy and many activities. Hotel rooms are available at the conference rate three days before and after the conference.

PILD is at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport in the DC area. We are hoping for cherry blossom sightings in 2024!

JCEP's website https://www.jcep.org/ has proposal submission details and hotel reservations available. Registration is coming later this fall. 


NACDEP Wants Your Input: Please Participate in the Poll Below

Submitted by Tanya Lamo

Dear NACDEP Members, the Marketing, Comm Comm, and Member Services Teams have been working on redesigning the NACDEP logo. Included in this message is a link to a survey to collect your input on logo design.  Once we have information from the general membership we will move forward with final design plans.   Please complete this survey by November 10, 2023, so we can continue moving forward.   

You can access the survey here: NACDEP Logo Design Survey 2023

Thanks for your input and contribution.  


From the North Central Region

Submitted by Jan Steen
Kansas State University

At our August meeting, Michael Darger from University of Minnesota Extension gave a great presentation about the Business Succession and Transition program he’s involved with. Thanks, Michael!

Our next quarterly meeting will be via Zoom on November 9th at 1 PM Central/2 PM Eastern. We’ll hear from the NCRCRD about funding opportunities, NACDEP regarding updates from the national organization, and learn more about the Rural Grocery Initiative’s recently launched Rural Grocery Specialist Certificate. There’s space for your announcements as well, so come prepared to let us know about items of interest to those in the region.

If you didn’t receive the calendar invitation for the November meeting, please let me know and I will get you on the list. The August meeting was recorded, and the link is available by request – [email protected].



Submitted by Tanya Lamo

In this newsletter, we are featuring our 2023 NACDEP award winners. You can find the full awards program here. This is another opportunity to share some of the great community development work of our NACDEP members. 

2023 NACDEP Diversity Team Award Winner

Growing Local: Northfield Emerging Leaders Program, Lisa Hinz, Scott Chazdon, Jocelyn Hernandez-Swanson, Mary Ann Hennen, University of Minnesota Extension

Rural communities are getting more diverse and recognizing their existing diversity. For the city of Northfield, Minnesota, that reality is fostering a vision to diversify city leadership to include those community members underrepresented, especially on the city's boards and commission. To bring this vision into practice, a partnership emerged between Extension, the City of Northfield, and several local organizations.

As lead designer of the educational program, the University of Minnesota Extension's Leadership and Civic Engagement team members work with a community advisory team representing the school district and community organizations to design the program. Designed for Northfield area residents from historically under-represented groups, the 4-session program is built on a strengths approach to build capacity and confidence in the participants, each interested in expanding their community activity. Part of the session also features local leaders as guests sharing their insights, including graduates from previous classes who share how they've put their class experience into practice.

Graduates from the three classes so far report increased skills under Extension's leadership model. Percent change in skills following the program is listed in the competency areas. In addition, a growing number of program alumni are serving on community boards and stepping into leadership roles in their workplaces, including the first Latina elected to, and now chair of, the local school board. For more impacts, see the ripple effects map at 


Submitted by Lisa Hinz, Growing Local program leader and Extension Educator

2023 NACDEP Educational Materials Individual Winner

Business Transition Models, Jason Tuller, University of Nebraska

Nebraska Extension's Rural Prosperity Nebraska – Economy Team is working on an Ewing Marion Kauffman Grant where we are studying grocery store transitions.  We have surveyed current and former grocery store owners and done several focus groups to learn about grocery store transitions. 

We found that current business owners aren't familiar with different types of business transitions. The Business Transitions Models publication is our first attempt to teach business transition principles to business owners, business buyers, and service providers. 

Selling a business is a complicated, long-term process.  It can take 3-5 years to improve the business so that the tax returns show it can support a loan.  Finding the right buyer is also time-consuming.  Sometimes, the buyer is a group from the community who wants to see the business continue, which may change the transition process.  The differences between selling a business to an individual or a co-operative are minimal, and selling to a group shouldn't be a scary prospect for someone selling a business.

The Business Transitions Models publication is a 12-page guide that can help start the conversation about business transition options and bring up their pros and cons.  It has also been used to work with groups as a road map on where they are in the business transition process.  A type of 'You are Here' conversation that shows where they are and the rest of the process.

You can find a copy of the Business Transitions Models publication at http://go.unl.edu/businesstransition.

2023 NACDEP Educational Materials Individual Winner

Wildlife and Water Habitats 4-H Curriculum, Jim Ekins, Ph.D. in collaboration with Marcie Galbreath-Rawls, Ph.D.

Many of our communities' natural resources are threatened by pollution and overuse. Education is a key component to water security, habitat conservation, and community resiliency. The authors, Jim Ekins, Ph.D. (U-Idaho Extension Water Educator), and Marcie Galbreath-Rawls, Ph.D. (Founder and Executive Director, NexGen Learning Institute), co-developed the Wildlife and Water Habitat 4-H Curriculum to be fully integrated, active, and place-based. It's written for a middle school-aged audience and provides guidance for other adults involved. The goal is to teach youth (and their adults) about wise management of the wildlife and water resources in any community.

Jim and Marcie started writing in the fall of 2016. They sent it all out for Idaho peer-reviewed in 2022. After publishing it as a peer-reviewed Idaho curriculum, they sent it out for National 4-H Council peer review in late 2022. It was accepted as a national 4-H curriculum in June of 2023, six and a half years after starting the process.

The lessons start with a story about fictional characters Emily and Logan. The story is developed throughout the program to introduce each successive lesson and the essential questions, keep students' interest, and weave the concepts together. Each activity's reflection section adheres to a "Do-Reflect-Apply" framework, reinforcing the learning and importance of each lesson.

Download the 4H Wildlife and Water: Youth Guide
Download the corresponding 4H Wildlife and Water: Volunteer Guide
Download a list of NGSS standards met by the curriculum

2023 NACDEP Educational Materials Team Winner

Data for Decision Makers: On-Demand Reports Informing Local Officials
Bailey Hanson, Christopher Seeger, Rakesh Shah, Jay Maxwell, and Sandra Burke, Iowa State University

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development's (CED) Data and Technology team has developed an innovative approach to publish nearly 1,400 dynamic and unique publications that are auto-updated annually as new data is released. The Data for Decision Makers (DDM) publication series provides community decision-makers and extension specialists with an easy-to-use document that presents a comprehensive summary of indicators for every city and county in Iowa to aid in community planning and local decision-making. The publications provide a curated set of data on a range of topics relevant to our audience, including population and demographics, socioeconomic indicators, housing, and health topics. Publications are developed to be easily digestible, with localized information at various geographic levels, including city, county, legislative districts, and extension regions. This makes data-driven decision-making more accessible to our target audiences.

The Data for Decision Makers (DDM) publications are used in signature CED programs such as Leading Communities, Rural Housing Readiness Assessments, Data Literacy trainings, and the Municipal Professional Institute & Academy. Evidence of impacts are summarized by testimonials provided during the program evaluation process. These evaluations highlight the transformative quality these publications have on how users assess their communities, leading to a deeper understanding of the populations they serve, a more data-driven approach to problem-solving, and stronger communities overall.

"The quantitative data about our community, which many, including myself, didn't know was available in so much detail, really speaks to issues facing our community."


NCRCRD 2023-2024 Funding Opportunities Now Avalable

Submitted by Mary Breidenbach
Purdue Extension

Each year North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) offers multiple types of grants to enhance the ability of the North Central Region’s thirty-four land-grant institutions to contribute to the success of the region’s rural communities. This year NCRCRD is offering five funding opportunities and looks to award multiple projects for each grant. The RFPs include: 

  • Working Groups
    Funding is $50,000 over three years (Apply year-round)
  • Small Grants
    Funding up to $40,000 (Proposals due January 15, 2024)
  • 1994 Land Grant Innovation Grants
    Funding up to $35,000 (Proposals due January 15, 2024)
  • North Central Region Extension Collaboration and Implementation Grant
    Funding up to $5,000 (Apply year-round)
  • NCRCRD 2024 Fellow
    Funding up to$25,000 for one year. (Apply year-round)

NCRCRD grants support new and ongoing regional research, extension, and integrated activities. Eligible applicants include current faculty and staff of Land Grant institutions (LGIs) in the North Central Region (NCR) and their partners. Funds awarded range from $5,000 - $50,000 and all projects must relate to the Center’s three priority areas of work — Creating Resilient Communities and Economies, Developing Leadership and Civic Engagement, and Promoting Community Health and Wellness.

Explore the NCRCRD grant opportunities

Map of the North Central Region and LGI listing

Community Development Extension Library Completes Improvements

Submitted by Mary Breidenbach
Purdue Extension

The CD Extension Library, which provides a central site for Extension professionals to share and discover programs and resources that support a comprehensive, logical, and theoretically sound community development process, has recently completed a few changes to improve user experience.

Updates included, streamlining the Library’s submission process to make it easier to use and offering additional options for how people can access your program and resources.

We encourage you to explore the Library or share your programs using the new submission form.

The CD Extension Library is hosted by NACDEP(National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals)and funded by NCRCRD; with support and development provided by the University of Illinois and Purdue University. The CD Extension Library is also supported by the Regional Rural Development Centers.

Upcoming NCRCRD Upcoming Webinar

The Role of Festival Volunteers in Supporting Rural Community Development: A Psychological Ownership Perspective

October 25, 2023  |  3:30 – 4:30 pm (Eastern Time)

Submitted by Mary Breidenbach

This webinar will present how rural festival volunteers’ motivation, psychological ownership, and community involvement impact their support of community development. This study provides unique insight into volunteers’ roles in rural communities, highlighting psychological ownership as a significant mediating factor from a community capital perspective.


  • SoJung Lee, Associate Professor, Iowa State University
  • Miran Kim, Associate Professor, Michigan State University
  • Linda Niehm, Professor, Interim Department Chair, Iowa State University

Register for October Webinar (free!):  https://bit.ly/3PyFerk

Previous NCRCRD Webinars:

All NCRCRD webinar recordings available on the NCRCRD YouTube Channel.

Recent webinar recordings:

Presenters:Nicole Adams, Purdue University; Erin Belgarde, Turtle Mountain Community Innovation, Research, and Development Department; Sheila Trottier, Turtle Mountain Community College; and Elisa Worland, Purdue Extension

  • September 2023: Reach, Teach, and Engage! (9/12/23)
    Presenter: Amber J. Twitty, Extension Educator, Central State University



The Rural Grocery Initiative is excited to announce the National Rural Grocery Summit will be held June 24-25, 2024, at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa in Montgomery, Alabama.

Submitted by Rial Carver, Kansas State

The National Rural Grocery Summit is the premier networking and resource-sharing venue for independent grocers and rural food access stakeholders. It brings together grocery store owners and managers, community leaders, food suppliers, academic researchers, healthy food access stakeholders, policy makers, and funders to connect, share lessons learned, and innovate around best practices for sustaining locally-owned rural grocery stores and improving access to healthy food in rural communities.

For the first time ever, the summit will be held outside of Kansas and will be co-hosted by the Rural Grocery Initiative at Kansas State University and the Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University. Please plan to join us next June in Montgomery!

For more information on the Summit, visit www.ruralgrocery.org/summit. To stay up to date on registration and the call for proposals, join the Rural Grocery Initiative newsletter list.



Utah State University Extension’s Remote Online Initiative Announcements

Submitted by Paul Hill
Utah State University Extension


A new tool for assessing organizational remote work readiness

In the current world of work, leaders are becoming more involved in understanding their team’s remote work capabilities, and how best they can implement systems to support this type of work. USU Extension's Remote Online Initiative has launched the Remote Work Proficiency (RWP) Assessment that can help leaders assess their organization’s level of remote work proficiency/readiness. The RWP Assessment (a) evaluates an organization's current capability for remote work in six key areas, (b) indicates the organization’s overall level of remote work proficiency, and (c) offers insights for improving performance in the six key areas of remote operations. The assessment is a tool that takes about 10 minutes to complete, and respondents are emailed their results. At that time, they can schedule a meeting with a remote work expert on the Remote Online Initiative team to discuss their report and steps forward. By completing the assessment, organizations will have the opportunity to:

1. Gauge their current level of remote work proficiency/readiness,

2. Explore tailored recommendations for implementing remote work strategies,

3. Discuss results with remote work experts, and

4. Enroll in a remote work leader certification course with SHRM credits (to improve remote work proficiency/readiness)

The Remote Work Proficiency Assessment offers essential insights that can help organizations embrace the future of remote work. We invite all NACDEP members to explore and utilize this tool. To take the assessment, please visit extension.usu.edu/remoteworkcertificate/assessment. If you are interested in our remote work leader certification program, please visit extension.usu.edu/remoteworkcertificate/leader. For questions, please email Paul Hill at [email protected].


A new ecommerce mentoring service for agricultural and rural small businesses in Utah

During the State of Utah’s 2023 General Legislative Session, Utah State University Extension received a one-time appropriation of $1.11 million over three years to build upon a 2018 project funded by the Utah Legislature that established the Rural Online Initiative. The new E-Commerce Accelerator (ECA) is a mentoring service that helps small businesses in rural Utah grow through online sales. The ECA is designed to assist agricultural and rural businesses by providing personalized training to navigate the digital world and increase sales revenue through e-commerce. As a mentoring service, the ECA offers a comprehensive six-week program that includes individual meetings with business consultants, tailored one-on-ones, and milestone check-ins to assist in giving small businesses a strong start in e-commerce. The service covers various aspects of establishing an online presence, such as website development, online marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and customer relationship management (CRM). We invite all NACDEP members to learn more about the ECA by visiting usuecommerce.com. For questions, please email [email protected]


A new study about remote workers’ job satisfaction and personal wellbeing in Utah.

As the Remote Online Initiative evolves, we continue to deepen our understanding of remote work through scholarly research. Our latest study delves into key variables impacting job satisfaction and personal wellbeing among remote workers in Utah. We also examine the influence of HR practices on organizational culture. The findings reveal that remote employees who find meaning in their work, take pleasure in their responsibilities, have a voice in decision-making, and align with their organization’s objectives are generally more satisfied in their roles. These individuals also tend to have longer tenures, not out of necessity, but because they genuinely want to stay. For those interested in a comprehensive view of our study, please explore Remote Workers' Job Satisfaction and Personal Wellbeing or take a quick glance at our related infographic.


The National Urban Extension Conference is Coming 

Submitted by Hunter Goodman and Ramona Madhosingh-Hector


The NUEC 2024 Conference Team invites you to submit proposals for the upcoming conference which will be held in Nashville, TN, May 28-31, 2024.

We seek proposals that share impactful programming in one of these five focus tracks:

  • Strengthening Communities
  • Protecting the Environment
  • Improving Our Health
  • Enriching Youth
  • Feeding the Future : Local food systems and networks

In addition to these five programmatic focus tracks, we will also host a Leading Edge Dialogue administrative track. The format of this track will be panel and participant discussions around urban Extension replicable best practices in line with the NUEL 4P Urban Extension Framework.

Submit your abstract for an individual presentation, lightning talk, poster, or panel/leading edge dialogue. For more details and to submit your abstract, view the attached PDF and/or submission link https://z.umn.edu/nuec24

Proposals are due December 1, 2023.

Click Here for More NUEC Call for Proposal Information and Important Dates